National Boarding Week celebrated in Bunbury

Home away from home: Head boarder Lillian Oldham with Head of Boarding Ken Taylor. Photo: Emily Sharp.
Home away from home: Head boarder Lillian Oldham with Head of Boarding Ken Taylor. Photo: Emily Sharp.

With 75 boarders coming from across WA to learn each year, Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School has a lot to celebrate this National Boarding Week. 

As the only boarding school within the South West, the unique nature of the campus remains part of the schools charm according to head of boarding Ken Taylor. 

“I think the school is a pretty dull place without boarding, which gives it life and I think that’s quite important,” he said. 

“One of the big things in society is a sense of belonging and I think with Facebook and technology you don’t get that sense of belonging. 

“I think students need that and they get that within the boarding structure not necessarily through the boarding structures but through their own peers so I think it’s a lot more relevant these days than before. 

“I think boarding gives you the opportunity to be involved in the full spectrum of the school, not only in terms of sports but drama, after school tutorials, supervised preparation and study hubs.”

BCGS provides boarding for students from Year 7 to 12 coming from towns including Kununurra, Newman, Margaret River, Wagin, Darkan, Narrogin, Corrigin, Bridgetown, Lake Grace and Kojonup.

Head boarder Lillian Oldham calls Boyup Brook home but said the opportunities and options available made living away worth it. 

“It’s hard being away from home but it’s also good being so close to school,” she said.

“It’s a really spportive and loving place, the staff are amazing – they sign your notes, take you to school, take you to appointments.

“I think a lot of the time people see boarding as a punishment but it’s really not like that – yes there are rules but they’re not hard to follow and you have a lot of freedom, which I don’t think people realise.” 

Lillian went to Boyup Brook District High School from kindergarten to Year 10 before making the move to boarding to avoid the one and half hour bus trip to get to the nearest school, she is planning on studying teaching at the University of Notre Dame after graduation.  

“Boarding was one of my only options and that was a hard choice to make – I’m really happy that I’m here,” she said.